Women's esports powerhouse Alter Ego Celestè have cemented themselves as the undisputed juggernauts of the 2021 VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Game Changers SEA: FSL VALORANT Circuit after another perfect run in FSL's sixth Open tournament on Sunday (29 August), completing a clean sweep of all the circuit's Open tournaments this year.
Alter Ego Celestè headlined the list of teams that qualified for the FSL VALORANT Open VI playoffs, alongside Galaxy Racer, Open IV runners-up Oasis Gaming Aqua, Aricat Aresta, BIG SCYTHE, Hashira SR, Renatus White, and Wildfire Sphinx.
The reigning champions breezed through Wildfire Sphinx and Renatus White in the first two rounds of the playoffs then met a familiar opponent in Galaxy Racer, whom they defeated in the finals of Opens III and V, in the upper bracket finals.
Despite coming off sweeps over Aricat Aresta and Open IV runners-up Oasis Gaming Aqua, Galaxy Racer were simply outmatched by Alter Ego Celestè as they marched onto the grand finals and dropped to the lower brackets.
Galaxy Racer then defeated Oasis Gaming Aqua again in a 2-1 showdown at the lower bracket finals to earn a rematch with Alter Ego Celestè, their third meeting in a FSL VALORANT Open grand finals.
Alter Ego Celestè started the series strong by dominating the first half of game one in Icebox, 9-3, then holding off Galaxy Racer's rally after the side switch to take a 13-8 victory.
Game two in Split was pretty much the same story, with Alter Ego Celestè taking a 9-3 lead in the first half then fending off their opponent's attempts at a comeback to take another 13-8 win and a commanding 2-0 series lead.
Game three in Bind was a much closer affair, as Galaxy Racer managed to take a 7-5 lead after the first half. However, Alter Ego Celestè managed to go on a 7-5 run of their own after the side switch to force the game into overtime.
Galaxy Racer put up a valiant effort in the overtime rounds, as they managed a 1-1 draw in the first period before ceding back-to-back rounds in the second to ultimately hand Alter Ego Celestè a hard-fought 15-13 victory in game three.
Alter Ego Celestè claimed the grand prize of US$1,500 as well as their sixth-straight FSL VALORANT Open championship this year. They have now won a whopping ten titles dating back to last year, when they were still playing as Celestè Esports. Meanwhile, Galaxy Racer settle for US$1,200 and their third second place finish in the circuit.
Alter Ego Celestè, Galaxy Racer, and Renatus White have also claimed the top three spots in the FSL VALORANT Circuit leaderboard, which have given them direct seeds to FSL Elite, the circuit's final and marquee tournament in October.
With the conclusion of its Open tournament stage, the FSL VALORANT Circuit will now be moving on to its next stage: the FSL Open Overtime in September. FSL Open Overtime will see teams that finished 4th to 19th on the FSL Circuit leaderboard competing for three qualifying spots to FSL Elite.
The teams that qualified for FSL Open Overtime include Aricat Aresta, Oasis Gaming Aqua, Virago, Wildfire Sphinx, Lightality Estelle, BIG SCYTHE, TiAMAT, AEOSS Arise, Cerulean Sentinel Esports, Hashira SR, Achiles Amr Esports, Fulcrum Valkyrie, 6issyx, Friends Reunion, Fuma Gaming, and Komorebi Hearts.
FSL Open Overtime will be followed by the FSL Wildcard, which is open to teams who have not qualified for the FSL Elite or teams new to the circuit. The top two teams in this event will also earn a spot in FSL Elite.
Finally, FSL Elite will see the eight qualified teams compete for the lion's share of US$10,000 out of a prize pool of US$25,000. The last team standing at FSL Elite will claim the title of the overall VCT Game Changers Southeast Asia champions.